Sacramento, CA

4 Iconic Trails You Can't Miss for the Full Sacramento Experience


Nestled in the foothills of the mountains, Sacramento is an outdoor-lover's paradise. Gifted with beautiful, sunny days for much of the year, this city and its surrounding area takes full advantage with some beautiful trails.

Ready to truly see Sacramento? You'll need to lace up your hiking boots. To experience this area to the fullest, check out these three iconic trails in the Sacramento area.
Beautiful lakes, towering trees, and pristine scenery are waiting for you on these Sacramento trailsAaron Burden | Unsplash

1. Cascade Canal Trail

Stretching along the length of the Cascade canal is a forested trail with little to no elevation gain. It's quiet, peaceful, and generally cool, with the water on the canal keeping the temperature low. If you're looking for a place to rejuvenate out in nature, this is the trail for you.

At 8.6 miles round-trip, this trail will give you a workout if you want it. If you go during busier times of day, you'll most likely interact with quite a few joggers and cyclists. There's a reason locals love this trail so much, and when you come to it yourself, you'll know why they do.

2. Quarry Trail

Located in the nearby Auburn State Recreation area, this 10.8 mile hike will challenge beginners and experts alike. The Quarry trail is a favorite among locals. Like other moderate trails, it's a fantastic way to experience nature.

If you're more of a peak-bagging hiker, this might not be the trail for you. The Quarry Trail leads you deep into the heart of the recreation area, without ever really coming to a lookout point.

However, if you're looking to stretch your legs - and perhaps see some wildlife - this trail won't disappoint. You'll get fantastic views on an easy hike, and you'll catch plenty of glimpses of birds, deer, and more.

3. Lake Clementine

If you're looking to cool off on one of Sacramento's summer days, you might also want to check out the Lake Clementine trail. Unlike the Quarry Trail, this one will lead you to a much more spectacular viewpoint.

You'll gain roughly 700 feet of elevation in the whole 4.5 mile trip, but the walk is worth it. This trail winds through thick evergreen forests and around beautiful, sequestered lakes. There's even a short spur trail leading to an overlook. It's definitely worth checking it out, as it will give you great views of the whole Auburn area.

This trail is well-loved by locals, and it's also dog-friendly. You're sure to see plenty of friendly pups if you go during popular times like the weekend.

4. Independence Trail

In the South Yuba River State Park, there's a trail unlike any other you'll see in the US. The Independence trail will take you through the park and over the river canyon - in an antique gold-mining flume.

The state park service has turned the wooden flumes into part of the experience here. You'll get to walk the path and read the history of this storied place.

Because of the wooden planks that make up the surface, this trail is one of the first major wilderness trails in the US to be ADA-accessible.

If you're looking for a bit of history in your nature experience, check out the Independence trail. You're sure to love it.


There's more to Sacramento than its picturesque streets and sunny California weather. When you're looking to truly experience this city (and the areas all around), make sure you visit these four iconic trails.

Whether you're looking for clear mountain lakes or smooth river runways, you can find it here.

Got a favorite trail that didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments!

Happy hiking!

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I am a travel writer and sustainable lifestyle blogger. As a world traveler, I love giving others tips on budget travel, new cultures, and how to see the planet in a sustainable, ethical way. I also write on being a digital nomad, hiking and outdoor activities, as well as living an adventurous lifestyle.

Santa Fe, NM

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